how to use linkedin to find a new job?
August 17, 2009 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Just got fired. How do I use my profile to find a new job without my contacts thinking I did something horrible?

I just got fired from a job I had for years (wasn't fired for anything unethical). All my contacts on are in the same industry, and I'm hoping that I'd be able to find a job through these people. How do I announce that I'm no longer with my previous company and looking for work?

I've already changed my profile to show that I'm no longer with my old company, but I feel like I need to make an announcement of some kind.

If anyone has any tips on how to use LinkedIn to pursue new job prospects when you've been fired (not laid off) without making yourself look bad, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!
posted by wannaknow to Work & Money (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My tip is to give it a week before you write anything, your thoughts will be clearer. I'm so sorry you were fired. You can phrase it to look like downsizing, perhaps?
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:10 PM on August 17, 2009

Response by poster: Anyone connected to me knows the company is doing really well. They'll know it's not true. Your advice about waiting a week is good--this actually happened over a week ago. I took a week to sit in my apartment and stare at the wall in shock. Now I'm trying to get back in the game before it's too late.
posted by wannaknow at 1:11 PM on August 17, 2009

One of my contacts updated her LinkedIn status to say something like "Joe Beth is looking for a senior management position in such-and-such field."

So you might try that. But I suspect you need to have some sort of vague, pat answer ready for when professional associates ask.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:14 PM on August 17, 2009 [4 favorites]

new boss? spin it into some political story, that is close enough to the truth, and doesn't reflect too badly on you if at all possible. Kind of depends on what you were fired for and what the grapevine is like in your industry as to what you can get away with.

Concur with the passive status update with a bit more sent to those whom you are more than an acquaintance.
posted by fistynuts at 1:39 PM on August 17, 2009

Agreeing with bluedaisy's example. Focus your efforts on what you're looking for and what's ahead, not on what happened in the past. Mentioning outright that you were laid off only brings obvious attention to the fact.
posted by jgunsch at 1:47 PM on August 17, 2009

Why do you need to get into it? Regardless of how someone came to be looking for a job, especially in this economy, i'd do whatever I could do to help. so maybe something like this.

contact: why?
you: ahemm, you know...i'd rather not get into it.
contact: were you fired? (but seriously would someone keep pushing?)
you: honestly yeah - it was one of those times where it really was best for us to part ways so now i'm looking to start fresh.
posted by doorsfan at 1:48 PM on August 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

Are you sure you were fired? If you are going to receive unemployment you were technically laid off, which can be spun very differently. It would also help to know why...

If I were to recommend a strategy, it would be to say that you had a great working experience at Wherever. During your x years there you were in charge of blah, blah, and blah. You will miss your colleagues who kept your spirits up over long weekends, etc. You are now looking for a new position where you can put your x, y, z skills toward doing a, b, and maybe even c.

If you were fired for job performance reasons, I would write a separate email to those in the know (know people in your company and can easily get the story) from those that aren't. Don't even mention being fired to anyone that doesn't already know. The time to bring that up is in the interview (if it comes up), not in your cover letter, resume, or email looking for work.

For those in the know, it's extremely important you be optimistic, and that you had a good work experience and relations. Everyone understands that sometimes things don't work out. I would be tempted to phrase this as a an employer suspecting you were looking for other work.

Try and keep your chin up.... Don't over explain. You were happy, had a great time, loved the people, this was really unexpected, but you've come to see it as an opportunity. It may be the best thing that ever happened to you.

And that last line could very well be the truth. :-)
posted by xammerboy at 2:08 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would try to get together with some people from your old job who know you and are friendly and ask them to recommend you. You can add a recommendation for them as well in return.

This makes your profile a lot more attractive, as LinkedIn posts these very prominently.

Good luck.
posted by yoz420 at 2:57 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

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